ELITE 2020 Disrupter Dan Messina of HandsFree Health

Dan Messina


HandsFree Health

Voice Assistant for the Healthcare Market

Four years ago, Dan Messina considered retirement but instead started HandsFree Health with the goal of helping consumers easily access health information at home, sometimes referred to as the “front door” of healthcare. Dan and co-founder Mike Cardillo invested their own money initially to bring a HIPAA-compliant voice technology platform to market to help transform healthcare in the home. Now more than ever, it’s where healthcare decisions and changes are taking place for consumers, employees, and health plan members.

Dan sees the burden as especially heavy for people juggling their own health on top of someone else’s, an increasingly common reality as many Americans rely on loved ones to help them remain at home, independent, or simply safe, especially during the current pandemic. With Dan and the HandsFree Health team’s decades of experience in the healthcare industry, they developed a new and affordable way for patients to better manage their health and wellness through a voice technology platform centered around the WellBe voice assistant that is completely dedicated to health.

Prior to HandsFree Health, Dan was helping consumers navigate the confusing maze of healthcare with Health Advocate, which was an entirely new approach to healthcare advocacy. It was the first large-scale patient support program within the healthcare system and still assists employees and health plan members maximize their benefits with solutions from pricing tools to wellness support. Dan helped build the company to over 40 million members and sold it in 2014 for nearly $300 million.

But his role in transforming the healthcare industry truly began in the 1980s when he helped transition companies like Cigna and Aetna from multi-line insurance companies to organizations solely focused on healthcare. This work was instrumental in changing the way the health industry operated. In leadership positions throughout his career, Dan consistently identified new ways to administer healthcare with the focus on the patient.

“From his early days in the industry, Dan has thoroughly understood the intersection of the interests of patients and of health plans,” says Vytas Kisielius, CEO, ReferWell. “His vision for HandsFree Health is consistent with this past arc and will further enhance patients’ lives and health in years to come.”


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